One of the most common complaints from golfers is pain in the lower back. The mechanics of the golf swing place stress on the parts of the spine including the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. According to the University of Pittsburgh Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, “more than 30 percent of golfers have experienced issues related to lower back pain or injury that have affected their ability to continue enjoying the game of golf.”
What causes the pain?
The repetitive movement of the golf swing is one of the factors that causes back pain in golfers. During the golf swing, the back is put into an unnatural position in which the weight of the body is shifted, the spine is torqued and the weight of the club is placed over the shoulders and behind the neck. This position puts the back under stress and leads to pain and injury. Muscles become tight, thus pulling on other muscles and bones around them.
To swing correctly, separate your hips and shoulders during the backswing. At the end of the swing, you’ll be in a position of lumbar hyperextension. Also, by contracting your abdominal muscles during the follow-up phase and rotating your trunk with feet planted in one place, the intervertebral disc is highly stressed. The increased pressure in the spine during the downswing to follow-through is great enough to be considered equivalent to football linemen hitting a sled. The pressure experienced in golfing exceeds the pressure needed to cause a prolapse of the disc.
To prevent lower back pain, golfers should participate in a golf-specific fitness programs that focus on the muscles of the body that are used in the golf swing, particularly the core–the area from the shoulders to the knees. Abdominals, back and buttocks should be the main focus of core training. These muscles brace and protect the bones of the spine and generate the power needed in a golf swing. The stronger these muscles, the less taxing the golf swing is going to be on the rest of the body.
Flexibility is also important, as it improves range of motion. By improving flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings, a golfer can move through the positions of a swing more easily and with less pain.
First, warm up the muscles prior to any golf game. Increased blood and oxygen flow to the muscles prepares them for activity. After play, icing painful areas of the back will help decrease inflammation. Finally, massage the muscles to keep them loose.
See your local chiropractor to ensure you’re using proper body mechanics to prevent back injuries from golf and everyday activities. Chiropractors can also keep your spine properly aligned to reduce your risk of herniated discs and pain from osteoarthritis.
If lower back pain persists or grows worse, golfers should seek medical attention. Chiropractors and orthopedics are two types of doctors who work with spinal issues. They can prescribe plans to help with pain and heal any injuries that may have occurred.
About Discover Health & Wellness – Aurora
Dr. Aaron Hancock of Discover Health & Wellness Aurora is located just off South Parker Road and offers patients a natural and holistic approach to health improvement and pain reduction. Services at Discover Health & Wellness include chiropractic care, spinal correction, corrective exercises, lifestyle advice, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, allergy treatment and spinal and postural screenings.
Visit http://discoverhealthandwellness.com/ for more information on hours, services and location.
Discover Health & Wellness, Aurora
5001 S Parker Road , #211
Aurora CO 80015